A Root Canal

Mistakes To Avoid When Dealing With A Knocked Out Tooth

Dental emergencies do occur on occasion, and the best way to prepare for an emergency is to understand what should and should not be done when an incident occurs. Knocking out a permanent adult tooth is one thing you may experience and there are several mistakes that need to be avoided when such an accident occurs. Keep reading to understand these mistakes and also what you should do instead.

Mistake - Cleaning The Tooth Aggressively

Many people understand that bacteria can cause tooth and gum infections and it is best to keep as many microorganisms out of the mouth as possible. While this is true, you should never use antibacterial agents, soaps, or other types of cleaners to remove the debris from a tooth that has dislodged from the mouth. When a tooth loosens from the jaw, it can rip the periodontal ligament. This ligament attaches the tooth root to the jaw bone. The ligament tissues can regrow and reattach the tooth to the bone, but some of the cells need to remain alive for this to happen. If you scrub at the tooth root, then the remaining ligament cells may become too damaged. 

Also, if you clean the dental root aggressively, then you may damage some of the dental cementum. This can lead to tooth death, or necrosis, and the tooth will need to be pulled out after replacement. It also may not be able to be replaced back into the mouth at all. Your dentist will look at the condition of the tooth and the live cells left on it when deciding whether it can be replaced or not. 

Instead of scrubbing the tooth and possibly destroying some of the sensitive tissues, rinse the tooth gently in cool water. This is wise to remove loose dirt and debris. If you are concerned about the possibility of bacteria and other microorganisms clinging to the tooth, then speak to your dentist. He will most likely give you an oral antibiotic to take after the avulsed tooth is replaced to reduce dental infection concerns. 

Mistake - Storing The Dislodged Tooth In Water

You may have heard that a knocked out or avulsed tooth needs to remain moist to keep it alive. This is true. The tooth will die if it dries out and this will prevent the replacement of the tooth. However, you should not store the tooth in a glass or bag of tap water. Tap water contains substances, like chlorine, that can damage and kill the cells that line the surface of the dental root. Contaminants in the water, like nitrogen, salts, and microbes can cause root deterioration as well.

Instead of using water to keep the tooth moist, use saliva instead. Spit in a small sealable bag and place the tooth inside or place your tooth in your mouth next to your cheek. If you do not want to do this, then place the tooth in a small container of milk. The milk provides the periodontal ligament tissues with nutrition to keep the cells alive. This is ideal if you are unable to make it to an emergency dentist immediately.

While milk can keep a tooth alive for a period of time, most experts advise you to seek out medical assistance within about 30 minutes. Your tooth can possibly be saved if it remains outside the mouth for an hour or a bit longer, but the chances of a successful replacement go down the longer you wait. Not only can the tooth start to die, but the tooth socket can start to form a clot and begin healing. When this happens, the tooth ligament and the blood vessels that feed the tooth may not redevelop successfully. Make sure to get to a place like Family Dental Care quickly.